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Fall Hot Streak Continues With Solid Launches For ABC's 'Designated Survivor' And Fox's 'Lethal Weapon'

Fall Hot Streak Continues With Solid Launches For ABC's 'Designated Survivor' And Fox's 'Lethal Weapon'

The major networks are very optimistic so far this new fall season, as every new show has launched above a 2.0 in the all-important 18–49 demo. Wednesday, the streak continued as ABC (Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS)) and Fox Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ: FOXA)) saw continued success.

ABC had two separate debuts on the night, including its most anticipated comedy "Speechless" and the buzzy Kiefer Sutherland drama "Designated Survivor." "Speechless" slid into the very comfortable time period between "The Goldbergs" and "Modern Family" with 7.3 million viewers and a 2.0 demo rating. "Designated Survivor" then capped the night with 10 million viewers and a 2.3 demo.

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"Designated Survivor" specifically made analysts take note, as it produced ABC's highest ratings in the time slot (for a scripted program) in five years (in terms of total viewers) and four years (in terms of the 18–49 demo). Wednesday's at 10 p.m. was a problem slot for the network entering this season with cult favorite "Nashville" failing to capitalize on its strong comedy lead-ins.

Fox saw an equally nice splash for its "Lethal Weapon" adaptation. The actioner pulled in 7.8 million viewers with a 2.2 in the demo. By comparison, that's the same type of start previous timeslot inhabitant "Rosewood" earned last season when it bowed to 7.4 million viewers and a 2.4 in the demo.

Analysts expected a big debut, as its lead-out is "Empire," which is one of the only shows on TV that actually helps the show airing before it. As for the season three debut of "Empire," it netted 10.8 million viewers and a stunningly high 4.1 in the demo, solidifying its spot as one of the TV's most reliable performers.

Full ratings data available on Benzinga Pro.

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